Sports and fitness in London

sports in London
Updated 2023-09-05 14:38

London is a capital city that offers many leisure activities to entertain the quickly bored Londoner. Sport is not the exception, with sports clubs, classes, and gyms found almost everywhere and catering to all budgets and lifestyles.

If you are a sports fan, you will certainly not be disappointed with London. Whatever your sport of preference, you can find a place to practice it or watch it. London provides public and private sports facilities; fees vary, and all registrations are easy to complete. If you are on a budget, there are several parks and green fitness trails across the city to play sports, jog, and practice yoga or martial arts. You will also see many Londoners jogging along the riverbank.

Londoners' favourite sport

Football remains a favourite sport, with 17 professional London football teams and more than 75 amateur teams. If you prefer watching football, there are many stadiums across the city, including Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC. Several pubs and bars across the city livestream the match if you don't want to venture out to the stadium.

Another prevalent sporting activity is going to the gym, with 1 out of 5 Londoners having a subscription. London gyms are popular because they come in all price ranges, are near your home, and often serve as a place of social interaction, where many people take classes with friends or join to meet people from their neighbourhood. The average price of a gym membership in London is around £40 per month. For many, London comes with a hectic lifestyle, and the gym is a stress buster, as well as a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the busy city streets.

There are many sports centres where you can practice your favourite sports, including swimming pools, tennis/squash/badminton courts, rugby clubs, athletic clubs, martial arts, gymnastics, and indoor cycling facilities. Additionally, many sports have become popular, such as spinning, yoga, Zumba, pilates, kickboxing, and marathon running.

Good to know:

Read your gym contract terms carefully. Some gyms may ask you to sign up for a year and have stringent get-out clauses. Also, gyms offer a rollover contract to cancel your subscription for the next month or even put it on pause if you are not going regularly.

Public and private sports facilities

There are many public council-run sports facilities throughout Greater London. The variety of public facilities available depends on where you live. Each council area will have a swimming pool, sporting grounds, and courts as a minimum.

Many councils provide gym services and sporting classes for all ages. You can find the sports facilities available in your area by researching your council and going to the sports section of their official website.

Public sporting facilities also have reduced rates for young people, students, unemployed people, benefit seekers, and pensioners.

Private facilities are more expensive but offer higher quality and more choice. Very particular or rare sports tend to be run by private institutions. It is also rare that they offer discounts for sports facilities in London to individual members of the population. University sports facilities in London are available for students at a much cheaper rate than other places. There are also many youth sports clubs across London at all levels and budgets.

Good to know:

Some London companies also provide employee sports benefits in London or offer a gym membership/sports club membership at a discounted rate.

Useful links:

Find your gym

Flexible gym memberships

The best gyms in London

List of Health clubs in London

List of parks in London

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